The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has described Hushpuppi, an Instagram celebrity, who was recently arrested in Dubai, as “Nigeria’s most-wanted hacker.”
Hushpuppi was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over fraud-related allegations involving the International Police (Interpol) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
In a statement by Dele Oyewale, EFCC spokesperson, on Thursday, the commission said it is now tracking other fraudsters directly involved with the internet personality, adding that “he has a case to answer.”
“The EFCC is familiar with grisly details of his money laundering transactions, involving many high-profile cybercriminals facing trial in Nigeria,” the statement read in part.
“The Commission is engaging with the FBI in tracking victims of his fraudulent transactions and other fraudsters having direct involvement with him. Local cybercriminals with money laundering networks with him are also being investigated.”
The commission added that the Instagram celebrity was arrested on June 10 “in connection with $35million ventilator scam.”
Dubai police: Why we arrested Hushpuppi
The Dubai police also broke its silence on the arrest of Hushpuppi, saying he fraudulently obtained money from companies and individuals.
According to UAE National, security officers in the emirate arrested the 38-year-old, whose real name is Raymond Igbalode, and 12 others for “obtaining money through fraudulent means.”
It was gathered that the socialite, who has now been charged, had been referred to the Dubai public prosecution where he’s currently being questioned by prosecutors at the Bur Dubai section.
“They would send out letters from email addresses almost identical to those of legitimate companies, targeting customers of these companies,” a senior prosecutor was quoted to have said.
“This is with the purpose of diverting payments to themselves. Initial information includes that he was part of this gang which fraudulently obtained cash and cars from people.
“His statement was taken by the prosecution but this is just the beginning of prosecution investigations.”
Hushpuppi is known for his luxury lifestyle, which sees him flaunt expensive vehicles, dine with celebrities, and spread pictures of his glamorous home’s state-of-the-art furniture on social media.
In 2019, he made headlines after he claimed that his driver earned as much a non-fraudulent commissioner in Nigeria.
Hushpuppi’s case comes months after the anti-graft agency docked Mompha, another wealthy internet personality, over alleged N32.9 billion money laundering.
It also comes at about the same time when Cubana Chief Priest, a nightlife promoter, was detained by the police over alleged misuse of escorts and unexplained wealth.
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